Enforcer - Double Density/Computec


Computec - Commodore 64 - 1992

Reviewed by Alex Vormbrock (a.k.a. Herr Schatten).

Remember the end game credits of Turrican II? Manfred Trenz, famed programmer of such classics as Katakis and Turrican, announced that he would never ever write a single line of code again for good old C64.

Yet, in 1992, Enforcer was published by a German magazine called "Golden Disk 64" as a low budget game. In the opening titles of the game, the programmer and graphic artist was just named "The Master", but the end game credits actually tell us that "The Master" is Mr. Manfred Trenz himself.

Enforcer has often been called the unofficial sequel to Katakis, but it looks and plays a lot more like the shmuppy levels from Turrican II. Even the weapon system is the same as in Turrican II. There's a multiple way shot, a powerful laser and a reflecting laser to choose from. Additionally, there are smart bombs, multiples, speed ups/downs, power ups, and a shield to collect.

But Enforcer is not only the very last C64 game by Manfred, it's also a trip through the history of his carreer, for a lot of background graphics and foes have been recycled from previous games. I don't know if this is supposed to be some kind of joke or if Mr. Trenz was a bit lazy and just went for a quick cash-in. I, personally, think that the latter is the case.

So there's not very much to see that we haven't seen before, but everything that's new looks quite nice. Therefore, the graphics are of very high quality.

The music, composed and conducted by Armin Siebold, is not bad, but nothing to write home about either. There's not a single memorable tune in there. The sfx, however, sound somewhat flat.

The game is a bit confusing. Often the screen is overcrowded with foes and bullets and sometimes it gets difficult to tell where the player's spaceship is amidst all the chaos.
There are certain spots in the game where death is hardly avoidable. There are other spots where it's not avoidable at all. You just die. This is what I have to criticise most about Enforcer.

I don't mind a fairly difficult game (I love Io, for example), but Enforcer is simply unfair. I just hate it, when success depends more on luck than on the skills of the player. Mr. Trenz obviously tried to compensate this by throwing in a lot of shield symbols, but that doesn't make it any better. He should have worked harder on the stages and on the enemies' attack patterns.
But to say something positive at last: most boss fights are quite cool. Much better than those of Katakis.

So, overall, I have to say that Enforcer is quite disappointing. I expect a lot from a game done by Mr. Trenz and Enforcer doesn't meet up with my expectations at all. Apart from being not as well designed as his previous masterpieces, it features just graphics we already know and a soundtrack that is in no way exciting.
I can only recommend it to those who collect games from Manfred Trenz or to those who know not even one of his previous pieces. To the latter ones, Enforcer offers some nice eye candy at least.


The background graphics of level one are a bit distracting sometimes. Looks like a remake of the first level of Katakis with some elements from Turrican thrown in. About halfway through the level, there's this beautiful big planet.
Btw: Are these Bydo fighters?


Just had to show you these. We all feared the day when our beloved force orb would be finally fed up with being hit by all the bullets that were meant to harm our R-9. Well, it seems that the force orbs eventually have decided to strike back.


Looks like we encounter the mommy of our own little spaceship. And she's angry. Did we do something wrong?


Level two. Graphics are borrowed from R-Type, Katakis and Turrican. There's some pretty cool parallax scrolling going on in the background.


This one's from Turican II, I think.


Level three reminds me of a stage in Sagaia. Not too much recycling here. I dig the ruins in the background.


This boss is actually pretty tough. Looks quite skinny, though. Plus it brings up memories of Gradius.


Let's play a game of Asteroids. These big rocks split up into smaller ones. The green walls are from Turrican again, I think.


Stupid looking crystal boss. Ridiculously easy to beat.


The walkers from Katakis make a reappearance. Don't know where this background comes from, but it looks a bit familiar.


I get this terrible feeling of déja-vu. But again, I don't know exactly the origin of this one.


This one's easy to identify. The background graphics are from the alien levels of Turrican II, the jellyfish foes appear in both R-Type and Katakis.


The final boss. Straight outta Turrican.


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